Shearer success

Bob Shearer follows a simple formula for building Shearer’s Foods: Make a high quality product with high quality people.

With him as president, Shearer’s Foods has grown from a $4 million company to a more than $60 million company in the last 15 years.

“I have to admit there is some luck involved,” says Shearer, whose parents founded the company in 1972. “But you have to have the passion and desire to succeed. I’ve always believed in the quality of our product and always tried to have that niche. I feel that quality is the key to success.”

Quality isn’t easy when you’re processing more than 400,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 pounds of tortillas, 7,000 pounds of cheese curls and 2,000 pounds of popcorn each day.

“It’s the dedication of our 400-plus associates and the desire by each of them to do good in their jobs that makes it possible,” says Shearer.

New recipes are always being evaluated, and old ones are fine-tuned down to the last detail.

“We are always testing our current sources of seasoning and raw materials,” says Shearer. “We want to be sure we are getting the best potatoes and the best possible corn and seasonings. All the ingredients are tested. Nothing is missed. We are always pushing our suppliers to do better.”

Shearer has continuously upgraded all phases of the manufacturing process, and the company recently completed its fourth expansion. Growth is driving the company forward.

“Our goal is to grow at double-digit figures each year,” says Shearer. “We want to improve our profitability and margins at the same time. We do that through finding more efficient ways of doing our processing.”

His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Shearer’s Foods was named the 2002 Snack Manufacturer of the Year by Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery Magazine, was listed on the Weatherhead 100 and won a Best of Show award at the American Tasting Institute of San Francisco.

“I think we work a little harder than the rest of the industry,” says Shearer. “The competition forces us to be at our best.” How to reach: Shearer’s Foods,